Lizard becomes police officer in Arizona
There's a new sheriff in town -- and this one is cold-blooded.
The mascot of the Avondale Police Department, a bearded dragon lizard named Iroh, just got a serious promotion.
According to the police department's Facebook page, he was officially sworn in and given a badge by the department's police chief.
The lizard officer has not just had its promotions handed to him -- his rise to power began in April 2016, when the APD started a program to see if lizards could be taught to sniff out drugs like dogs can.
"Research has shown that reptiles possess a strong sense of smell making their ability to detect certain illicit drugs possibly more accurate than K9s," the APD wrote in a Facebook post announcing the program. "Our pilot program drug sniffing bearded dragon will be assisting Officers in the City. Please help us welcome Iroh!"
Here's the thing, though -- it was all an April Fools' gag that got out of hand. Instead of calling it off on April 2, the officers continued playing the game. They posted photos of Iroh aiding officers doing various tasks.
"Iroh has turned out to be a valuable member of the Avondale Police family," the APD posted on Facebook in February, along with a photo of the lizard on a department motorcycle and perched on a radar gun. "His skill set is so extensive that we have cross trained him in many areas ... Today he is keeping our streets safe running radar with Motors."
Great work, Officer Iroh!